Photo: U.S. Marine Corps’ rotary wing escort during Helicopter Air-to-Air Refueling ops

Taken during the 2012 Kaneohe Bay Airshow at Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, on Sept. 30, 2012, the following picture shows a U. S. Marine Corps AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter, belonging to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 367 providing security as two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 463, Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MAG-24) perform a HAAR (Helicopter Air-to-Air Refueling) demonstration from a KC-130 Hercules.

Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps

HAAR ops foresee five kind of rend-vous (RV) between the chopper and the tanker, with an initial vertical separation of 500 feet.

In four of them (“Bravo”, “Delta”, “Golf” and “Hotel” types of RV)  the tanker approaches the receivers from the astern position and the subsequent overtake and rejoin of the receivers in refueler’s left wing take place after visual contact has been established. RV “Echo” is the only one in which the receiver maneuvers to rejoin with the tanker.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.